PHARMACY

Study shows women with diabetes face higher heart health risks

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK New research published in the journal Heart this month has found that women under the age of 65 who have been diagnosed with diabetes have higher cardiovascular risk profiles than diabetic men of the same age, leading to a greater number of deaths following a heart attack.

The study examined reports form 25,555 patients under the age of 65 who were treated for a heart attack between 1995 and 2002. Out of that population, 21 percent were women who had a prior diagnosis of diabetes and 16 percent were diabetic men. Over the ensuing four years, diabetic women had a 34 percent higher risk of dying, as compared to diabetic men.

Compared to male patients, female patients had higher rates of high blood pressure and heart failure and were more likely to smoke. In addition, fewer women than men had had procedures to open clogged arteries prior to their first heart attack, and women were less likely to be treated with blood pressure drugs like beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors.

“The present observation makes further study of the impact of improved risk factor management in this particular group of relatively young, easily identifiable, high-risk patients important,” the researchers concluded.

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PHARMACY

King announces acquisition of Alpharma

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. King Pharmaceuticals will acquire Alpharma in a deal worth $1.6 billion, King said Monday.

Alpharma had rejected a $33-per-share bid King made earlier, but accepted the most recent $37-per-share bid.

Alpharma, based in Bridgewater, N.J., has lately sought regulatory approval for painkillers designed to thwart abuse, such as Remoxy, a liquid capsule-based formulation of oxycodone.

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Viagra under investigation for effect on athletes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating whether the drug Viagra gives athletes a competitive advantage on the playing field.

The drug, known generically as sildenafil citrate and made by Pfizer, works by opening the blood vessels. According to published reports, some experts have said this could give athletes more endurance by increasing the bloodstreams ability to deliver oxygen.

If studies indicate that Viagra does give athletes an advantage, WADA will consider listing it as a performance-enhancing drug.

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